In editing my portion of the 3000+ posts in this thread into a "shop Manual," I've made a separate section of the various tools and techniques I've needed to use to (re)build this bike. Short of machining a set of gears from scratch, there's not very much that this thread hasn't touched on, from Stelliting a rocker, to making a nut.
Originally Posted by Cyborg
What in hells half acre would possess you to fly across the country so you can rattle along the highway in +40C heat?
Aha, you're busted, fella! Less than 24 hours after you wrote that I discovered you had sneaked onto the +40C streets of my town yourself last evening (we're not allowed to use cell phones while driving, but I used my cell camera, and I wasn't quite driving yet, your honor, because the light had just turned green...).
Originally Posted by Cyborg
it’s about 2C per 1,000
My drawers of "Whitworth" Fasteners came from BSA and Triumph, which apparently didn't have a use for ⅝-20 threads. As the tools in Cyborg's post indicate, he well understands that the cost of having tooling needed to make a 1¢ nut is irrelevant when that 1¢ nut is a roadblock to your work. Plus, in addition to the 1¢ to buy the nut (once you locate someone who sells ⅝-20 nuts), there's the $15 shipping charge, and the several-day wait for it to arrive.
As someone once wrote, "Give me a nut, and I'll misplace it, but give me the tools for making a nut..." Or something like that.
Last edited by Magnetoman; 06/05/214:17 pm. Reason: p.s.
At this point in my career, debauching past 8:00 pm would require copious quantities of extacy, viagra and your trailer to bring my remains back across the border.
Just for some motorcycle content....The gearbox bushing rabbit hole that you sent me down has branched out yet again. While rooting around, I came across 6 of the 8 gears required for a close ratio box. Last night I found the remaining 2 in Suffolk. I’d explain why I’m assembling it, but really have no clue.
Have you ordered a tailstock tap and die holder set yet?
Have you ordered a tailstock tap and die holder set yet?
You mean to have as spares for the ones I already own?
Somewhere in Montana Chaterlea25 and I sliced a small piece from the primary cover to clear the wide O-ring chain.
After having behaved itself for ~2000 miles the cover decided to make contact with the bottom run of the drive chain and simulate the sound of the insides of the primary coming apart. Even though the slice is fairly inconspicuous that's no excuse for pretending it isn't missing.
The front of the primary cover is on a circular arc that I measured to have diameter 8¾" and then confirmed by cutting a template from paper. I then measured the thickness of the metal to be ~0.053" and then found a suitable piece of sheet steel that is 0.056". My plan was to cut a piece from that sheet steel, bend it to the correct arc, braze it in place, grind and file it as needed, and paint. However, at that point I decided that since the primary cover could wait to be the very last thing bolted on the bike, and filling in that missing piece easily could eat up much of the day, I would put the cover aside for now and do other work that still needed doing.
A month ago Chaterlea25 wrote:
Originally Posted by chaterlea25
the clutch ... I am reasonably sure that the incorrect plates are fitted ??
What is it about them that look incorrect to you? As the following two photographs show, both the driven and drive plates seem to fit like they were made for the bike:
I had numbered the five studs and corresponding locations on the pressure plate, and noted how many turns in each of the nuts was, as well as depth of the stud under each nut. I won't know how close this gets me to perfect operation until I install the clutch cable, but it should save at least a few minutes getting it to spin without wobble as well as have the correct pressure.
A time-consuming and frustrating job was getting the timing case breather line attached. As the next photograph shows, the nut on the line is nearly inaccessible under the magneto platform, and the line itself takes several 90-ish degree turns, making it difficult to align it with the mating fitting.
Once I finally got the nut started on the threads it was too hard to turn with the tips of my fingers so I had to tighten it one-sixth of a turn at a time with a short handle wrench.
I then installed a non-O-ring primary chain and threaded a non-O-ring drive chain through the space between the rear sprocket and chain guard to be ready.
The bike is now 100% back together, although many bolts now need to be tightened, cables attached, magneto timed, pushrods adjusted, and the fuel tank installed. Still, the Ariel is in the home stretch and getting dangerously close to the finish line. Assuming it starts and doesn't have to be completely rebuilt in order for it to run...
Hi MM, "Somewhere in Montana" I had the clutch apart before finding the problem with the rear chain guard getting tangled up with the O ring chain At the time I saw that the friction plate tangs were a sloppy fit in the clutch basket slots My "memory " suggests that I have come across two different width tangs on Burman plates ? Said memory failed after I wrote that reply because I failed to follow up and research the subject However I take it as something of a compliment that you made note of how I set the clutch spring nuts
My "memory " suggests that I have come across two different width tangs on Burman plates ?
I've worked on all of one Burman clutch in my life, and this one looks exactly like every other Burman clutch I've ever worked on... Anyway, the tangs on those plates are 0.260" wide and the slots they go in are 0.325" wide and, for what it's worth, the comparable numbers for the BSA parts on the top of the pile are 0.355" and 0.380".
For no particular reason I decided to work on the primary cover today. As the first step toward patching it I drew an 8¾"-dia. arc on a piece of scrap wood and cut a buck using my jig saw.
I then cut the metal to fill the space, as shown in the first and second photograph.
The metal is thin enough that I easily could bend it by hand, but having it at the correct radius resulted in a very smooth curve. I then degreased the cover to begin preparing it for brazing and removed the paint from near the afflicted area. The cover needed to be grounded for welding so I used a ¼-20 bolt to attach a metal braid to a patch of bare metal on one of the mounting tabs, and clamped the other end of the braid to the table.
The metal smoothly followed the cover for about half its length then began to deviate slightly. Prior to attaching it I used the bench grinder to create a shallow 'V' at the bottom to give more surface area for the bond. I then clamped the metal to the cover with the top edge level with both ends of the cover. The next photograph shows it after I had tacked the metal with 0.045" silicon bronze and clamped the metal where it began to deviate from the cover, after which I bent the remaining length for a perfect fit over the entire length.
The white in the background of this photograph is a wet paper towel I clamped in contact with the cover just below the area of the braze, to keep the nearby paint from getting too hot. After bending the metal to follow the rest of the curve I tacked the other end then filled in the entire length with the silicon bronze, resulting in the next photograph.
Using a succession of Manual files, air file, and Scotchbrite on a die grinder, it looked like the final photograph.
The metal follows the contour of the cover as perfectly as the cover itself does with no bumps or ripples. Interestingly, when I saw the large scratches near the edge at the center of the repair I went back out to the garage to look. It turns out those scratches are barely visible and can't be felt with a fingernail so their appearance in the above photograph is an artifact of the lighting.
The last thing I did today was to hit the bare metal with etching primer so it can have overnight to dry.
Four years ago I special ordered a 3 kg can of the Morris K400EP grease for the gearbox from the U.S. distributor of Morris products, who doesn't normally import that particular grease. Having used nearly all the remaining quantity with my latest rebuild I decided that maybe I should order more. Not that it will leak, or that I will re-rebuild it ever again, but just in case. So, I replied to the most recent of the emails from the contact person, sent four years ago, which I learned this morning was then forwarded to the manager since it turns out that person doesn't work there anymore. Anyway, the manager called this morning to say that at the time I ordered the grease they also ordered a second can from England, and it has been sitting on the shelf ever since. That can is now on its way to me.
Those of you who remember something I wrote a few weeks ago will know that only after the fact did I realize grinding the layshaft to make it perfectly straight and round, or instead making a new layshaft that was ⅝" over its entire length, and then honing both bushes in the layshaft gear cluster simultaneously, would have been the best way to proceed. So, although I'll never rebuild this or any another Burman gearbox ever again, a few days ago I did what any rational person would have done and bought a Sunnen BL20-619A mandrel to have on hand, just in case. Its 4½"long stone (vs. the 2½" of the standard mandrel in that size) would have reached through both bushes simultaneously and ensured they were accurately coaxial.
As several of the photographs in my last post show, in its previous life the primary cover had received a thin coat of polyester body filler. That makes sense since the bike had been sold by a dealer to the previous owner as "restored," and the fact attention had been lavished on paint and plating, but that it had so many internal problems when I got it three years ago, certainly is consistent with it having been "professionally restored." The Ariel is an excellent example of why with professionally restored bikes it's always prudent to assume the beauty is only skin deep..
Like the rest of the bike the primary cover has scrapes and scratches showing it had been used, so the entire cover should be painted if I want it to look restored. But, if I painted the cover its shiny new appearance would look out of place unless I painted the rest of the bike as well, which I'm not going to do. That said, the clutch-cover portion of the primary cover had suffered paint loss in a conspicuous position that I couldn't ignore, so I hope my repair of it doesn't end up being too obvious when I'm done.
Although the above photograph seems to show the "original" paint has a fair bit of orange peel, when viewed "in person" the paint appears quite smooth so my touch-up of the clutch cover probably won't stand out as too smooth once I finish the job.
After allowing the etching primer to dry on the primary cover for a few hours yesterday, I went back out to the garage to apply a coat of high build primer. Today I smoothed the primer with 1000 grit paper, hit it with gloss black from a spray can, and am leaving it to bake all day in the 100 ℉ sun. I'm in no hurry so I'll give it a full 24 hours to dry before color sanding it.
On the principle that doing something in the garage on days when there isn't time to do anything moves things forward, even when that something isn't needed, I started to modify the ¾"-drive Ariel clutch hub sprag socket that I made three years ago, into a deep-drive ½"-drive sprag socket.
I've had no issues using this socket with a ¾"→½" adapter, but it just felt that needing an adapter was an esthetically-displeasing complication. All I did today was to face the end of the "new" socket and carve a shallow step in the top face of the sprag socket to register the two sockets when I weld them. Plus, I removed a slightly larger ring of the black coating from the sprag socket so it won't contaminate the weld.
Although it wasn't a problem for its use on the Ariel, the sprag socket was surprisingly shallow at only 0.6". Since the "bore" of the added socket is greater than the ¾" drive, the modified socket increases that to 2.9" (for a shaft of diameter up to ¾")
The first photograph shows the primary cover after I had used 1000 grit on the new paint.
I followed that with 1500 and 2000, then 'Turtle Wax Polishing Compound & Scratch Remover', then 'Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound & Heavy Duty Cleaner', and finally 'Blue Coral AutoFam Automotive Surface Sealant'. All evidence of our parking lot butchery in Montana has been erased and it looks better than it should, but not too much better.
I then welded the clutch hub sprag socket to eliminate the need for a ¾"→½" adapter.
Finally, you might remember that when I cut the pocket for the valve seat I first had to adjust the head in the tilting vise to make the guide accurately parallel to the spindle of the mill. A tool that would have made that adjustment a bit faster would have been a two-dimensional bubble level to get the adjustment close before switching to a more sensitive level. So, I ordered such a two-dimensional level a few months ago, and it finally arrived yesterday.
Parallax alters the apparent reading, but the next photograph shows the bubble level indicating a tilt of 1°.
At the same time the electronic level next to it showed 0.9°, i.e. the same. Given that the bubble level gives the correct reading I proceeded to make a mount for it that would go over the pilots. As the next photograph shows, after cutting a shallow ledge in a piece of 2¼" Al rod on which the base of the level will sit (nb. the level is sitting on the surface plate on ring around its edge, not on its base that is recessed from that ring), I then reamed a ⅜" hole for the pilot.
I actually don't want the hole to go all the way through because that would allow the pilot to bump into the bottom of the level, but the only way to make the base of the level accurately perpendicular to the hole for the pilot was to make them both without removing the piece from the lathe. After I finished machining the piece I cut a short length of Al ~0.001" oversize and pressed it into the hole as a stop for the pilot.
The fit to the pilot was so tight that I had to drill a hole in the stop, and file a notch at the edge, to allow trapped air to escape. The final photograph shows the completed tool mounted on a valve guide pilot.
So, another special tool is added to the one hundred I already have. At least, the one hundred whose function I haven't forgotten. There are at least twenty more that I can no longer identify.
You might wonder why, with little more than a few bolts remaining to be tightened, the Ariel still isn't finished. The problem is that, thanks to my extreme lack of urgency this spring, I've reached this point with the Ariel in the middle of the hottest month of the year. Just as I did three years ago with the original rebuild. Sigh... The ten-day forecast is all above 100 ℉, with seven of those days in the range 107–110 ℉. No way am I going to be making shakedown runs again with temperatures like that (nor get up at dawn to have a few hours of lower temperatures).
How about getting a Cincinnati 1957 no. 5 vertical milling machine, see video below, this will surely put you in pole position in the Tooling Wars, at least until MM finds something bigger...]
Funny you should mention that.... There is a Cincinnati number 6 available locally and the asking price isn’t all that bad. Downside is that it weighs 16,600 lbs and I don’t have a way to feed the 25 hp motor. No tooling with it which could be a bit of a bugger. Upside is the fact that the bed is 102 1/2 by 20, so I could roll my sleeping bag out on the thing when the bride finally snaps.
Must be a joy to tram. Hydraulic jacks and a framing beetle.
Someone in the Ariel club kindly pointed out to me that the club supplies transfers/decals, so on order are the eight that they have for 1928 bikes. Not that I need them now, but you never know what the future might bring. Also, although my gearbox hasn't leaked a drop (yet), the new 3 kg can of semi-fluid grease arrived today, so I'm ready for what the future might bring.
Originally Posted by gunner
How about getting a Cincinnati 1957 no. 5 vertical milling machine, ... at least until MM finds something bigger.
It's just that sort of competition that lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union ("I'll see your tank battalions and raise you sub-launched nuclear missiles"). So, please don't encourage him. It risks bankrupting both of us.
Originally Posted by Cyborg
There is a Cincinnati number 6 available locally and the asking price isn’t all that bad.
Gunner! See what you've caused!
Originally Posted by Cyborg
10 days would get you reorganized and knee deep into the next project.
On the subject of the next project, NYBSAGUY and I had an hour-long conversation today that touched on that subject. Despite missing the Christmas gift time window our book continues to do quite well, so there's still a place for printed words and images. However, a rhetorical question is, are electronic words and 5 still images/post on a specialized web site the best medium for such projects at this point in the 21st Century? Stated differently, content creation of the type in this Ariel thread is time-consuming, so how to get the best bang for the buck?
I finally watched that video. A #6 must be downright frightening. The shop where that thing came from is only about a $500 truck ride from here....., but I only have 200 amps worth of 220 single phase. Could you imagine buying any new tooling for that thing?
Have you ever peeked inside that motor? It’s probably full of bronze, aluminum, and camshaft chutney. Wherever you end up, I’ll be sure to stop by once in a while and light the blue touch paper. #Schadenfreude
I got an email this morning from the Ariel club confirming all the decals I ordered were in stock and will be mailed today. On the weather front, the high today will be a cool 105 ℉, but the following seven days all will be at or above 110 (113 on Sunday). nb. Canadians shouldn't bother trying to convert these to ℃ because your calculators will just give you an 'out of range' error message.
Originally Posted by Cyborg
10 days would get you reorganized
I have a convenient Sunnen storage unit for the stones that both tells me which one to use as well as makes it easy to spot any compartments where they are low or missing.
As part of my Cyborg-mandated reorganization I inventoried the stones and placed orders for ones where there were gaps. Unfortunately, the reorganization costs continue to mount. I have the "normal-size" Sunnen mandrels (i.e. sizes K4–K20) in racks that each hold 16 of them (the photograph is of just one of three shelves holding these racks, with the long, multi-stone P-type mandrels on a fourth shelf)
However, the above photograph is deceptive since originally setting up this organization enough additional "special" mandrels have shown up that my organizational scheme is breaking down. For example, the long-stone BL20 I recently got to be able to line-hone a Burman layshaft cluster, that I'll never work on again, should be housed next to the short-stone K20 of the same ⅝" diameter, but that rack is already full. In fact, they're all full, making it impossible to reorganize without having another rack, so another rack is on order. Lest you think otherwise, this isn't a matter of just wanting things to look neat. Even with the mandrels housed in order of size in the racks it takes time to locate the one I need, and with a half-dozen orphan mandrels that aren't in racks I don't necessarily even know if I have a mandrel for some specialized purpose.
Next up on today's reorganization schedule is to start moving all Ariel special tools and spare parts from their present three locations (four, counting a pile on the floor), to a box on a dedicated Ariel shelf on a shelving unit (which will require moving other items presently on that shelf to a different shelf).
Remaining to be done in the near future, once the Ariel has passed its shake-down tests, but requiring a maneuver that I don't know yet how I'll pull off, is to swap places between the Ariel and my next project. The Ariel takes up ~2'×7' on a Kendon lift, as shown in the following photograph from three years ago.
The next project is located on a bespoke 2'×6' rolling bench.
I took this photograph a decade ago at my old house after having lifted the project onto the just-completed workbench, and since then I've gathered as many of the parts as would fit in boxes on the bottom shelf.
Although the open structure of the Kendon lift doesn't take up the same floor space as the rolling bench, the bench has a few advantages for long-term restoration work. The top of rolling bench serves as its own mini-workbench, also holding tools and components that otherwise would have to be located somewhere else (like the floor, in the case of the Kendon). Also, the lower shelf holds a lot of parts itself, freeing up space elsewhere that otherwise would be needed. I have similar rolling benches for my Spitfire and Alloy Clipper.
Stated differently, content creation of the type in this Ariel thread is time-consuming, so how to get the best bang for the buck?
Some benefit could be derived via review of a season or two of Quincy M. E. episodes. Mastery of the overhead microphone, coupled with a drone mounted GoPro as you perform the re-animation and you have a real-time YouTube channel. Bleeding edge stuff.
a drone mounted GoPro as you perform the re-animation and you have a real-time YouTube channel. Bleeding edge stuff.
You may (or may not) be joking, but that sort of thing is under consideration.
Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
Is anyone out there tempted to move in right next door to this guy? He needs our help getting use out of all this tooling.
On that topic, and unless I'm missing something that's still hiding, the following photograph shows the ~30 Ariel-specific jigs, fixtures, and special tools you'll want on hand when you rebuild your 1928 Ariel
The wood block at the bottom of the photograph may seem out of place, but it is essential when working on the crankshaft. I would have replaced it with something machined from metal, except I prefer the wood block. The large round jig to its right also is extremely useful, so I included it in the photograph even though it is of general use for pressing together other crankshafts (e.g. for Gold Stars, which have their own collection of jigs, fixtures and special tools) as well. Of the items in this photograph, only the three spanners are commercially available. I suppose I could have omitted the smaller two and instead counted them as part of general purpose "Whitworth" spanners, but they're thinner than typical combination spanners and that thin attribute is needed for their use on the Ariel (e.g. the smallest one is for adjusting the tappets).
Originally Posted by Cyborg
Nope... I was raised by academics and subjected to all kinds of social events that were overrun by them.
Both of my daughters (and the daughters of one of my daughters) also were raised by academics, so I can hardly blame you for feeling the way you do.
Before I discovered the fire extinguisher strapped to the bike had discharged itself somewhere on the back roads of America it had managed to dent the rear mudguard. Unfortunately, unlike other minor nicks and scrapes on the bike, it was in too prominent of a position to ignore. The first photograph shows the location of the dent after I already had started chipping away the Bondo that had been used in the bike's "professional restoration."
It's difficult to tell from the photograph, but the layer of Bondo is quite shallow at the top but nearly 1 mm thick at the bottom. Also note that the paint is crazed to the right of the decal, indicating Bondo hiding under the paint there as well, and that the Bondo is cracked.
The next photograph shows the abrasive I used to clean the residual Bondo after having used a chisel to chip it away from all regions that showed damage.
The next photograph shows the damage at the left, caused by the fire extinguisher, but also a pair of dents at the right, and another at the bottom where the Bondo layer is thickest.
Although I had to destroy the decal in removing the Bondo, I have a replacement on its way from England. However, it turns out that decal was only used in 1927 so it isn't appropriate for my bike, anyway. Not that I'm aiming for a 100 point cosmetic restoration.
The problem I've now created for myself is to fill this area with fresh Bondo, smooth and sand it to accurately match the contour of the mudguard, and paint it to match the existing paint in order to, ideally, result in a repair totally invisible to even the fussiest of concours judges. Amazon is supposed to deliver the Bondo later this afternoon so the cosmetic surgery probably won't start until tomorrow. However, since this is my first time attempting such a feat of magic, what will follow will be completely self-taught in real time so almost certainly should be ignored, or possibly used as a how-not-to lesson. On the other hand, since essentially everything else in this thread also has been completely self-taught, that caution applies to the entire thread. You've been warned.
Amazon now shows delivery of the Bondo has been delayed until Sunday so I returned to organizing and inventorying. A few more items turned up, and as I put everything into a box I found some that had missed being put on my list. Of interest to essentially no one who is reading this post, the following is the inventory of my thirty-nine Ariel-specific fixtures, jigs, and special tools that are now being set aside to accumulate dust.
Engine Sight glass cup blank off Crankcase mouth alignment plate Rod alignment gauge Engine shock absorber spring compressor Rocker grinding jig Faux variable-length pushrod torque plate with spacers Valve guide insertion stop Dummy valve guide Oil line pressure test kit Faux 9½" crankshafts: __ 0.874" __ 0.874"/0.947" __ 0.859"/0.961" Faux Imperial main bearing Faux 62 mm metric main bearing Metric main bearing honing jig Camshaft electroplating chamber Big end mandrel Protractor adapter/spacer for main shaft Protractor adapter for cam Engine cases machining jig blocks Base for mounting engine case to mill Spacer/jig to mount engine case to mill Jig to mount engine case to mill Crankshaft sleeves for use on balancing wheels Oil flinger shim soldering jig Spacers for engine lifting jig End float indicator holder Oil pump disassembly kit
Magneto Magneto sprocket extractor (stock) Magneto sprocket extractor (variable sprocket) Rod for rotating magneto
Gearbox and Clutch 1¼ BS deep socket for gearbox sprocket Clutch hub sprag socket Cutch hub holder Socket for adjusting tension on clutch springs Sleeve gear bush drift
Your list makes it hard to believe that in the day owners kept these bikes functioning for long service with nothing more than what came in the tool box and maybe a hammer.
Of course, back in the day the owners were maintaining relatively new bikes, not rebuilding ones that had suffered 90+ years of wear and abuse. They wouldn't have needed jigs to regrind the Stellite they had to weld on the rocker arms, to make their own pushrods, to hold the head while they machined it for a replacement valve seat, etc. Also, some of the tools on that list aren't "needed," but they make the jobs much easier (e.g. the modified sockets).
However, a more general point is that this is no longer back in the day even for "modern" bikes made in the '50s and '60s. Once you get beyond maintenance tasks the shop Manual expected the owner to be able to do using replacement parts from the nearby dealer, you will need fixtures, jigs and special tools to repair the wear and abuse of the past 50+ years. Or, you will need to locate a trusted shop that has those items as well as someone with the expertise to properly use them.
I have enjoyed following this thread and have learned a lot over the coarse of its development. I would only hope that other enthusiast would not be led to believe that yours is the only viable approach to renovation and repair of old mechanical devices. I have seen a lot accomplished with very little in the way of resources. It takes more patience and, maybe, imagination but just look at some of the things that were produced before any of the devices we now take for granted were even developed. Carry on Magnetoman. I hope the Ariel will perform up to your best expectations. Meanwhile, I will buy a new blade for my hacksaw and just do the best I can.